Karti Chidambaram’s second setback today, CBI custody for 3 more days


New Delhi: The CBI custody of Karti Chidambaram, who was last week arrested for allegedly taking bribes, was today extended by three days.

The next hearing on his bail plea will be held on March 9.

The CBI had requested a Delhi court to extend its custody of Karti by another nine days.

Before the special CBI court pronounced the ruling, the agency had, through its counsel additional solicitor general (ASG) Tushar Mehta, accused Karti of “non-cooperation”.

“After seizing of mobile, if the accused says, ‘I will not give my password, you go to hell’, this is also called non-cooperation,” Mehta had said.

“Indrani Mukharjea’s statement is one of the evidences for us, but it’s not the sole one,” he added.

On the other hand, Karti’s lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi had argued that the investigative agency “gave no reasons but kept repeating orally that we have to interrogate.”

“Argued that CBI hasn’t given a single ground or written a single reason in its application for further remand. Karti Chidambaram only had a 25-minute-long confrontation with Indrani Mukerjea and around two hours long interrogation in the last five days and there is no need of further custody,” Singhvi said.

The order came hours after the Supreme Court refused to grant Karti interim protection from possible arrest by the Enforcement Directorate (ED). However, the apex court agreed to hear his writ petition challenging ED proceedings against him without registering any FIR.

Karti has been in CBI custody since March 1, after the agency contended that there were “very shocking evidences” of his activities while on a recent trip to London.

He was arrested on February 28 on the basis of statements from INX Media promoters Peter and Indrani Mukerjea, who alleged that they paid him over Rs 3 crore in bribe. The Mukerjeas claim that they were prompted by Karti’s father P Chidambaram, who, as the then-finance minister, was in charge of the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. The board is the nodal agency for granting approvals to companies to access foreign funds.

On Sunday, Indrani and Karti were brought face-to-face in Mumbai’s Byculla jail, when, once again, she “repeated everything she had said in her statement recorded under Section 164 of CrPC before a magistrate and during her examination by investigators.”

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